Tuesday mini-snippets

Spring has sprung, which means that everyone’s out of their practical winter clothing and into stuff they want to wear. For me, that’s not much of a change. I’m no fashionista, I can tell you. But as an occasional people-watcher it’s interesting to see what people do given the choice they have in warmer weather.

The one thing I’ve noticed this year is that here in Hobart we have an increasing number of young goths hanging around. And they go to extraordinary lengths to goth up, too. I just saw a girl walking around in 4-inch soled boots and all-black outfit including a corset, of all things. How uncomfortable can you get? I hope these goth kids put as much effort into their education as they do with their dress-ups.

Being as black as it is, I wonder if the the Turbo X should be the EMObile poster car for these kiddies.

Sorry, just a thought.


It sounds clothing related, but it’s not – what would you think if you saw a woman coming down the street in a leather Mini?

I’m a very happily married man, but in this case I’d definitely look twice.

Leather Mini

Via Autoblog Green (why, I’m not sure) this is a leather-clad Mini Cooper. It’s a one-off piece of art called the pet Mini, the idea being that people would want to come up close and touch it due to the leather covering.

Five cows went into that one, so it’s not one for the vegans out there. I’d have it, though.


And finally, an actual Saab related story:

What Car? are reporting on Saab continuing to call for more consideration of ethanol by lawmakers in the UK. It’s been a persistent call and one that I think will eventually see some real results.

There are just 16 fuel pumps in the UK that provide E85 at present, with a further 21 scheduled to open by the end of the year.

That compares with Sweden, which has 900 pumps, and France, which has 127. The Governments of both countries offer strong financial incentives for motorists to use the fuel.

Saab’s Jan-Ake Jonsson has now said that the UK Government should be doing more to promote E85’s use.

‘The strong UK fleet market can make a tremendous difference, starting with the government’s own fleet of vehicles,’ he said.

‘It is strange why London’s mayor has still not granted E85 an exemption from congestion charges,’ Jonsson added.

At the 2008 9-3 release in Sweden earlier this year, I heard that that figure in France is scheduled to go up to 500 E85 pumps by the end of the year as they adopt a much more accepting stance for the promotion of E85. Other European markets for E85 are growing as well.


A side note: someone at Saab UK should get in touch with What Car? and get them to remove or rewrite this bit from the text, as it seems they’ve got their wires crossed somewhere:

E85 bioethanol is estimated to give up to 25% better mileage than standard petrol, while emitting up to 60% less harmful green house gases.

The emission of less fossil fuel gases is OK if termed that way, but quoting “better mileage” in any context with E85 is misleading.

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  1. On a project I was working on recently I was looking up the fuel economy and CO2 emissions (I wish other emissions values, like NOx, were also made publicly-available for proper consideration) of SAABs at the International website. In the small print (see the asterisk at the bottom of the page for the small print) it says that all fuel consumption and emissions numbers for the BioPower cars are while running gasoline (though the horsepower and torque values are while running E85), and when running E85 the fuel consumption values will go up approximately 30% and the fossil fuel CO₂ values will decrease by about 80%.

    I figure it’s because in E85 you still have that 15% gasoline, so they’re only counting the CO₂generated by burning the fossil fuel portion of E85 (which depending on season and blend can be anywhere between 15% to 30% by volume). The burning of the ethanol also generates CO₂, but because that CO₂ was absorbed by the ethanol source in the first place they’re just ignoring it and only counting the net addition of CO₂ to the atmosphere, rather than the gross CO₂ coming out the tailpipe.

  2. I’m still working out how to use that project, Gripen. I think it’s fair enough for them to highlight the reduced fossil fuel emissions as that’s the point of the car, but perhaps two sets of measurements should be given – gasoline and E85, so that the numbers show apples and apples, if you know what I mean.

  3. Swade: yeah, that’s why I broke them down separately on my spreadsheet, with a line for gasoline and a line for E85 each. That way it’s more of a fair comparison than using whichever set of numbers (gasoline for fuel consumption and E85 for horsepower/torque) favor the vehicle. Thanks.

    What’s an emo? Jeez, I must be old.

  4. Hmmm…. My wife has a minor as a furrier from the RCA and a Mini Cooper which leads me to think the only thing better than a leather Mini is one covered in fur.

    We also have three cats… it’s a start.

  5. HA! 1985 Gripen doesn’t know what an Emo is!

    It’s like the early Cure gone bad… very, very bad.

    Consider yourself lucky for going this long unawares.

  6. swade: Being as black as it is, I wonder if the the Turbo X should be the EMObile poster car for these kiddies.

    Ok, that was hilarious! Seeing as how I’m 26 and have a wife and kids myself, I’d say I’m far removed from that “Scene.” (take note, “scene” is another term that can be used) However, I love emo-music. Emo used to describe the heart-wrenching lyrics and the way the guitar riffs made you feel cathartic and think deeper about life as both were meaningfully intracate. Someone, please take the time to listen to Sunny Day Real Estate, pioneers of emo music circa 1992-1995.

    As we all know, music evolves thru different generations. Rock now is different from rock 15 years ago. Emo music has evolved the same, and the 2nd wave is more of a commercial-pop-power-punk, more watered down. I take enjoyment, too from listening to this type, such as 30 Seconds to Marz, Fall Out Boy, or Panic! At the Disco. Sure, you’ve heard of them…

    That concludes the first lesson of Emo 101.

    I find that listening to emo while joy riding in my Saab is extremely therapeutic… especially around tight turns and fast straights with the Premium 300 system pumping out the tunes. My drivers seat is my easy chair…


    As for the leather Mini: Vile. I’ll eat the hamburgers, but they don’t have to wrap fodder in leather. I hate the Mini as it is!

  7. The pioneers of emo music are Husker Du, the Descendents, Rites of Spring, and Embrace. Fugazi was pretty important, too, but they weren’t really emo. Sunny Day Real Estate are pioneers of modern indie emo.

    Personally, I can’t stand that whiny indie emo stuff. I like loud and fast, which is why I listen to the Descendents so much.

    Emo is most certainly not early Cure gone bad…that’s goth :p As important as the Cure was, there were lots of other bands that influenced those crazy Goths, like Bauhaus and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

    Of course, this is pretty emo, too. Urg.

  8. Wha!?! I guess I was into emo back in the day and didn’t even know it. I’ve owned more than one Husker Du album and absolutely love the Descendents. I thought they were punk. Like SoCal punk or “surf punk” or whatever. I also had both Fugazi and Minor Threat tapes.

    I also love Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, Love & Rockets, etc.

    Darn, that link looks like my 10-year-old, bangs and Converse and all! 😮

  9. The Descendents ARE punk, they aren’t really emo. The reason I say they were pioneers is because they were the first hardcore punk band to write about relationships and feelings (as opposed to, say, Black Flag or Minor Threat). If you’re as old as you are, Gripen (not to call you old, but you are older than me, and that’s what I mean), it’s hard to get the hatred between goths and emo kids because you tend to like both of their styles of music.

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